Ugandans woke up today in complete utter shock as they could not access social media platforms especially Facebook. This was followed by Twitter, Instagram and others, and now the whole ‘streets’ as they call it, to mean timelines are so quiet. This was after UCC pulled the plug off, but what is next for Ugandans without full access to Social media after ban?
Remember, we are just two days to the general elections and the presidential elections in particular, and this whole campaign season has been characterized by drama, hurt and tears. At first it was tear gas, bullets, now it is Social media off. Ugandans have ever experienced this before in the last general elections where still Social media ban was activated.
The government gives no reason for doing all this, but definitely it is because it is avoiding possible chaos to be organized through social media platforms. Or prevention of circulating of ‘falsehoods’ as far as the election results are concerned.
Now, since the streets are quiet, what is running through the mind of a regular Ugandan who gets informed and communicates from the platforms? Well, first and foremost, many have resorted to use of Virtual private Networks (VPN) which are enabling them to get a grip of what is happening in the outside World.
However, the IP for VPN was restricted by the UCC, so whoever had not downloaded any VPN to his or her phone, the game is over for them as they can not get it by now. But hey, it has not ended yet, the movie is just starting, as far as accessing social network platforms is concerned.
Now, as a way of keeping afloat the communication and information game, people that had remained defiant from joining social networks like WhatsApp will be seen joining as soon as possible. More so, other social networks like Viber, Signal can be accessed.
Further more, the awakening trumpet is sounding to let people know about living other ways of life without Social media. People now can resort to giving their families full attention, try out some activities they had abandoned like Swimming, hunting and many more, as Social media ban stands on.
Ugandans will as well have to adopt other ways of forming more groups to discuss more about their political affiliations and stand. Without taking things far, we shall have to see more WhatsApp groups formed, people will be added randomly in order to help gather information.
Ugandans living in diaspora are going to be relevant in this case, as they can access all the social media platforms. Now, these people living out of Uganda will be awaiting to get information from people like Lumbuye, Peng Peng, Kakensa media and record videos and the other material to drop it to WhatsApp for the Facebook prisoners to get information.
In a nutshell, those that have working VPNs, shall resort to spending their time on YouTube and watch bloggers and those that are covering live events. This will push back their Social Media missing and keeping updated. With these highlighted facts, Ugandans will cope up without Social media until the elections are done.